Review: Atrexial – Souverain

Aiming for their own take on the genre, Spanish black/death metal newcomers Atrexial have decided to come together rather quickly with the aim of fusing the brutality of death metal with the elegance and darkness of black metal under the influence of different subgenres. Quickly offering forth their first professional release, the bands’ full-length debut was originally self-released April 4th, 2017 before a CD reissue May 30, 2017 on Godz ov War Productions.

Once this one gets going, its rather strong and charging atmosphere makes for a stand-out impression of what’s on display throughout here. Tracks like The Hideous Veil of Innocence, Under the Scourge of Lamashtu and Illuminator prominently display furious old-school style swirling tremolo riff-work with plenty of dark atmospherics in the rhythms to add a charging ferocity to the work. By adding a deep, churning style to the ravenous blackened sections throughout here, there’s a grandiose sense of dynamics present that truly mix together the different genre aesthetics really well as the heaviness of the death metal rhythms goes hand-in-hand with the raw, ferocious black metal tone. When those are dragged away in Catharsis Through Torment, Unmerciful Imperial Majesty or The Ominous Silence which exchanges the churning rhythms for more straightforward tremolo riffing and full-on blasting charges in the tempos which offer a more traditional black metal sound and is quite a fun variety due to the solid changeover that occurs with these rhythms. The biggest detriment to the album is the rather obvious one, its running time here due to the unnecessary track-length, for there’s no reason this one should go into the double-digits here. With an intro, outro and an instrumental interlude all clogging things up, this could’ve been trimmed down some by eliminating most of those and carrying on as normal, yet that manages to be the most obvious flaw here.

Overall, this one doesn’t have too much to dislike here as the main attack manages to contain a lot of positive elements that are certainly enjoyable enough, even with the overloaded running time because of too many tracks, so even with that it still will appeal to fans of black/death metal in general. 9/10

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